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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:20 a.m. CT:
Corn: 1 to 3 cents higher. Nearby futures are leading gains amid bull spreading due to tight old-crop stocks. Corn is also benefiting from unwinding of spreads with soybeans. Followthrough from yesterday's gains has produced back-to-back closes above the early March high for May corn and December corn is pivoting around resistance at the early March high.
Soybeans: 1 to 3 cents lower. Futures are weaker amid spread unwinding with corn, with new-crop futures leading losses. Slight strength in the dollar index is also weighing on soybean futures. Gulf soybean basis was stronger yesterday to signal demand for old-crop beans remains strong, although traders expect the world's attention to soon shift to the availability of new-crop South American supplies.
Wheat: 2 to 3 cents higher. Wheat is benefiting from spillover from corn futures, as it remains in a follower's role. May Chicago wheat is trading at more than a 10-cent discount to May corn futures as the market searches for a price that encourages demand. Recent moisture improvement across the Central and Southern Plains are limiting buying in wheat, although timely rains will be needed to sustain the crop as it continues to come out of dormancy.
Live cattle: Steady to firmer. Futures are expected to build on yesterday's gains thanks to slight improvement in boxed beef prices. Choice values improved 40 cents and Select rose 10 cents, but movement was lackluster at 135 loads. Concerns that high prices are trimming demand continue to limit buying in live cattle to short-covering.
Lean hogs: Steady to firmer. Lean hog futures are expected to be steady to firmer on followthrough from yesterday's gains and indications the market has posted a near-term low. Meanwhile, the cash hog market is called steady to lower amid light demand for cash hogs. Pork cutout values slipped 43 cents yesterday, but movement of 117.13 loads suggests prices are encouraging demand.